no question the clubs are getting fat selling dreams.
The Clubs would not exist if there wasn't a demand.
There is a demand because there are so many parents today willing to pay anything to say there kid is better than the neighbors kid. They all buy into the hype and marketing of the clubs.
Good athletes are good athletes no matter where they play. It's 90% genetics. If your kid is going to be 5'6" and 200 lbs and run a 8.5 40 yard dash it doesn't matter how many thousands of dollars you shell out to a club team he still will never play D1 in college.
On the other hand if your kid is a great athlete, 6'1" 200 lbs and runs a 4.2 40 yard dash he can start playing a sport in 11th grade and the D1 programs will find him.
Open your eyes to reality.
Youth sports is supposed to be for fun. If your son is gifted the coaches will find him.
Parents have turned a fun youth sport into a grinding job for 7 & 8 year old boys. Half of them will burn out and not even play when they get to high school.
Is your son really playing year round because he loves the game? Or because he wants to please you? I bet if you asked, most of them would rather be in the school yard or in the pool playing with their friends and enjoying their childhood just like you did.